10 pieces of classical music everyone should know | CBC Music

Are you the kind of person who appreciates multiple genres of music ? Being companion with the classics in any music genre is a divisor in one ‘s overall cultural awareness. In jazz, there ‘s Thelonious Monk ‘s Round Midnight. In state, Johnny Cash ‘s Ring of Fire. In R & B, everyone should know Gladys Knight and the Pips ‘ Midnight Train to Georgia. ill-famed B.I.G. ‘s Juicy is a rap classic ; Michael Jackson ‘s Billie Jean is one of the greatest pop songs of all time. classical music is a tougher nut to crack, not only because it has centuries of history behind it, but besides because it seems classical music lovers belong to an exclusive club, throwing about terms like partita, singspiel and von Karajan.

For the classical curious, cutting through the mystique may be a challenge, but we ‘re hera to help. Do n’t be that person who says their favorite slice of classical music music is Phantom of the Opera. Get to know the stick to exercise, and build your classical music foundation. here are 10 pieces of classical music everyone should know.

1. J.S. Bach: Suite No. 1 in G major for unaccompanied cello, BWV 1007

Everyone should know at least one work by J.S. Bach, considered by many to be the greatest composer in history. The Suite No. 1 for unaccompanied cello is a 15-minute distillate of everything that makes Bach ‘s music amazing : imaginative harmonies, mind-blowing counterpoint and — constantly in Bach — something spiritual. The beginning movement, Prelude, is well known from its use in film, but all seven movements combine to make a vary, comforting, even transcendent listening have. We ‘re partial to these excerpts played by Johannes Moser :

far listen : J.S. Bach : Partita in C minor, BWV 826
J.S. Bach : Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Handel : Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks

2. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

“ Da-da-da-daaaa. ” The unfold theme of Beethoven ‘s Fifth has become a pop culture cliché for “ things merely got real. ” ( Beethoven ‘s biographer described it more poetically by saying, “ That ‘s how destiny knocks at your door. ” )

But this symphony orchestra has more to offer beyond those baleful opening measures. The volume of the first movement casts a retentive shadow over the dull second apparent motion, whose sugared lyricality is never allowed to shine for long. The third movement is incredibly tense and leads immediately — dramatically — into the fourth movement, which is credibly the most heroic music always written ( 24:40 in the video below ). Make it your soundtrack the future time you run 10 kilometres, handwriting your terminus paper in on time, find jeans that fit, do n’t have cavities, etc. Enjoy this performance from the 2012 BBC Proms :

far listening : Beethoven : Piano Concerto No. 1
Mozart : Symphony No. 40 in G minor
Berlioz : Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14

3. Franz Schubert: ‘Du bist die Ruh,’ D. 776

Singers and accompanists much say a song recital is the pure form of musical formulation. “ Art birdcall offers melodious drama without any promotion, ” explains collaborative pianist Erika Switzer. “ It suits the moments in life sentence when you crave raw, arrant musical communication. art song is to opera what Adele is to Madonna : the singer-songwriter of the classical global. ” The classical music song repertory is dominated by german lied and french mélodies, and one ‘s use of the music is decidedly enhanced by an sympathize of the words.

There ‘s no better place to start than Schubert. He wrote more than 600 Lieder and there is n’t a flop among them. here ‘s his most popular song, performed by mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink and pianist Gerold Huber. ( Follow the textbook and translation here. )

further listen : Duparc : “ Chanson triste ”
Schumann : “ Mondnacht ”
Tchaikovsky : “ Why ? ”

4. Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 25

Chamber music sometimes gets a bad knock. It does n’t have the swerve world power of orchestral music, nor the narrative aid of lyrics, nor is there a conductor with star appeal to give it a personality. Some people say it ‘s bore. It ‘s not. Like their jazz-playing cousins, chamber musicians need to be wholly attune to each early, and there ‘s no base hit net. Each actor is vital to the success of the performance. That energy is transmitted to the consultation. Brahms ‘s chamber music — particularly the works with piano — have great tunes and momentum that get you out of your seat. The fourthly movement of his first piano four is a tour de force out.

far listen : Beethoven : string quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1
Mozart : five for Clarinet and Strings in A major, K. 581
Brahms : sonata for clarinet and Piano, Op. 120, No. 1

5. Frédéric Chopin: Nocturne in B-flat minor, Op. 9, No. 1

Experts agree, Chopin was the poet of the piano. Janina Fialkowska, one of the world ‘s head Chopin pianists, says, “ There is no composer who wrote better for the instrumental role. ” Chopin spins such beautiful, singing melodies that pianist Anton Kuerti calls him “ the greatest opera composer who never wrote an opera. ”

If you have ever fallen in love, paddled a canoe on a lake by moonlight, gotten up early to watch the sunrise, eaten an huitre pulled fresh from the sea, cried during a film or had a baby wrap its fingers around your little finger, then you need to pay care to Chopin. He understands you.

foster heed : chopin : Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20
chopin : nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1
Chopin : Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major

6. Georges Bizet: Carmen

opera is not everyone ‘s cup of tea. As Will & Grace ‘s Will Truman said, “ I love the opera. Dressed up, hanging out with fabulous people, drinking champagne. If it were n’t for the damned music, it would be a perfect evening ! ”

Jokes aside, everyone should know at least one opera, and there ‘s none crammed with greater aria, duets and ensembles than Bizet’s Carmen. The music is brainy and it ‘s a capital piece of dramaturgy excessively. The title function is a fantastic vehicle for an accomplished singe actress. Carmen marches to the drum of her own drum. Uninterested in a monogamous kinship with the smitten soldier Don José, she prefers the bohemian liveliness and no-strings-attached matter she ‘s got going with the bull’s eye champion, Escamillo. As always in opera, this love triangulum ends ill, but sounds beautiful along the way. Carmen ‘s Act 1 Habañera is her shaping moment :

far listening : couple : “ Parle-moi de ma mère ” ( Act 1 )
Aria : “ Votre pledge, je peux vous lupus erythematosus rendre ” ( Act 2 )
quintet : “ mind avons en tête une affair ” ( Act 2 )
Aria : “ La fleur que tu m’avais jetée ” ( Act 2 )

7. Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30

You already know its opening measures from the soundtrack to 2001 : A Space Odyssey, but it ‘s worth familiarizing yourself with all 30 minutes of Strauss ‘s symphonic poem besides sprach Zarathustra ( Thus Spake Zarathustra ). Strauss was an pioneer who painted pictures with an orchestral palette unlike anyone who came before him. The symphonic poem he composed between 1880 and the outbreak of World War I were startlingly mod works. You do n’t in truth need to know all that in club to appreciate besides sprach Zarathustra, although it is helpful to understand that Strauss based his employment on a novel of the same list by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In it, Nietzsche introduces the notion of the Übermensch, the heroic verse, self-mastered individual to whom world aspires. If that all sounds a bit over the top, at least it explains the epic nature of the music. It ‘s a huge exercise for any orchestra, and is probably equally much fun to play as it is to hear.

far listening : strauss : Don Juan, Op. 20
Strauss : An Alpine Symphony, Op. 64
Wagner : prelude to Tristan und Isolde

8. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

Concerto is an elegant name for a composition for implemental soloist with orchestral accompaniment. There are many great concertos : Sibelius ‘s Violin Concerto, Dvorak ‘s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky ‘s Piano Concerto are favourites among young musicians taking separate in music competitions. We recommend Rachmaninoff ‘s Piano Concerto No. 2 as a estimable plaza to start exploring the concerto repertoire. ( Call it “ Rach 2 ” and sound like a pro. ) Rachmaninoff wrote this work around the same time Strauss penned besides sprach Zarathustra, but the two works are world apart. Rachmaninoff ‘s music is unabashedly alcoholic and tuneful, with lots of opportunities for the piano soloist to impress with potent chords and dazzling finger work. The gorgeous root of the slow second motion, below, is one of history ‘s greatest melodies. Can you name the celebrated power ballad that borrowed it ?

far heed : Brahms : Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
Saint-Saëns : Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 33
Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23

9. Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring

suffer there ever been a piece of music that captured the perfume of a nation better than Copland ‘s 1944 ballet score, appalachian spring ? Copland ‘s best-known work appeared big h tap in the middle of the american Century, as the 20th was known, and conjures up images not merely of huge fields of pale yellow and the wild frontier, but besides the modern city and the old age of the automobile. In short, the music creates a tableau of modern american life. The hatchway moments of the score portray an awakening — possibly a dawn, or possibly the awaken of an entire state — that never fails to give you shivers.

far listen : stravinsky : The Rite of Spring
Bernstein : West Side Story
Floyd : “ Ai n’t it a Pretty Night ” from Susanna

10. Ann Southam: Glass Houses

Everyone should know some canadian classical music, and Ann Southam’s Glass Houses, a set of solo piano pieces composed in court to minimalist composer Philip Glass, is the perfect introduction. Southam ‘s manner of minimalism is more intricate and decorate than her american counterpart ‘s. While the music is building complex, it falls easily on the ear.

pianist Christina Petrowska-Quilico has recorded the wide work and, with the composer ‘s permission, released a retool version in 2011.

far listening : Mozetich : Postcards from the Sky

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